Combined driving is one of the wildest equestrian disciplines in existence: it’s essentially eventing on wheels, meaning that all of the nutty things that eventers do while sitting on their horses is done by drivers who are sitting on a carriage, relying on their voice, lines and whip to get the same messages across.
During the marathon phase, or the “cross country” of combined driving, drivers rely heavily on the navigator to both help pick out the route in the hazards and also to help balance the four-wheeled marathon cart. This navigator for Jada Neubauer at the 2011 Live Oak International combined driving event brings us along for the ride:
Go, pony, go! GS Thunderboy Henry, competing in the FEI Single Pony Division, was the fastest pony in the marathon phase of the entire show. This guy is clearly a master at his job and remarkably agile; he stops on a dime and rolls back with the cart to make some of the tight turns in the hazards.
Look like fun? Here’s your chance to give it a go!
In a few weeks, the USEF will be hosting a Navigator course in Pennsylvania for beginners/novices who are interested in learning about the job of a combined driving Navigator. It’s a very involved role and a lot of fun for people who like to go fast on a cross country course. The course is free to attend and only requires a helmet and vest for those who want to practice riding on the carriage after the classroom session.
Consider this your official invite!
What: U.S. Equestrian Navigator Course, taught by USEF Elite Athlete Jacob Arnold and experienced World Championship navigator Kenny Cox
Learn about the role of a Combined Driving Navigator and how to successfully navigate a marathon course. No experience necessary!
- Learn the basics
- How to choose routes
- Marathon preparation
- Tips while on course
- Understand the rules
- Video studies
- Practical hands-on experience!
When: Saturday, June 16, 2018, 2 – 5 p.m.
Where: The Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, Pennsylvania
How much: Free! To register, contact Danielle Aamodt at [email protected].
Learn more about combined driving at the US Equestrian website here.